Over ten years ago, I remember sitting in my suite mate’s window seat after my first year in college weeping to my dad. I had called simply to thank him for allowing me to go to this wonderful institution where I had made such wonderful friends. College was, of course, the first time I had made friends that didn’t live more or less down the street from me. It was the first time that I had to negotiate that intricate dance of discovering if not only our interests but our basic understandings of the world would mesh enough to form a life-long friendship.

Aboard the Frances in Casco Bay.

That suite mate is one I hope to visit on my cross-country adventure starting next week. There are some logistical hiccups with that hope but I’m going to keep the faith. Lifelong friendships are like that.

Tonight, I’m thinking about that feeling. I’m thinking about that day weeping to my father after spending the evening with a circle of my Portland friends sailing through the harbor. It was a surprise farewell. They wouldn’t tell me what the plans were. I was only told when I would be picked up. It was only when I saw the picnic basket and the route we took through town that I realized we were going sailing. I’m not sure what to say about tonight other than the fact that I’m grateful for friends. I can’t yet bring myself to weep. I can’t figure out how to make sense of this ending but I’m grateful for these beautiful people that have been my companions on the journey. I am indeed richly, richly blessed. I suppose I can only thank God for that. Though even that doesn’t seem to describe it.

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